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Stephen Lewis


Born: 04 Jun 1757, Rowan Co, NC
Died:  1792, Randolph Co, NC

Stephen Lewis was the fifth child born to John Lewis and Priscilla Brooks.  Stephen was born 04 Jun 1757.
John and Priscilla had at least 8 children:
Children of John Lewis & Priscilla Brooks
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
David Lewis 21 Mar 1747
Guilford Co, NC
23 Jun 1822
Caswell Co, NC
(1) Ann Beason/Beeson (m.1768)
(2) Penelope (Unknown)
Jacob Lewis 24 May 1750 23 Nov 1812
Wilkes Co, GA
Sarah Avery Nolan
Rosanna Lewis 05 Jul 1752
Rowan Co, NC
1818 Isaac West
Jean Lewis 15 Jul 1755
Rowan Co, NC
Randolph, NC
John Campbell
m. 1776
Stephen Lewis 04 Jun 1757
Rowan Co, NC
Randolph, NC
Susanna (Unknown)
Richard Lewis 22 Jul 1759
Rowan Co, NC
21 Sep 1826
Floyd Co, IN
Lydia Field
m. Abt. 1779
Sarah Lewis 15 Jan 1763
Rowan Co, NC
23 Jan 1806
Randolph Co, NC
Isaiah Ruckman
m. 18 Oct 1780
John Lewis 09 Mar 1765
Rowan Co, NC
04 Mar 1848
Wayne, IN
Sarah Ruckman
m. 15 Mar 1781
Lewis family documents show indicate that Steven was constantly in trouble.  In the 1700s he began appearing in court, charged with a variety of crimes from assault & battery to theft.  Although frequently found "not-guilty", he was on a few occasions found guilty of the charges - but never paid the fines.
Stephen married Susannah (Unknown) about 1780 when he was 23 years old.
Children of Stephen Lewis & Susannah (Unknown)
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Stephen Lewis 1781
Randolph Co, NC
David Lewis 1783
Randolph Co, NC
Susannah Lewis 1784
Randolph Co, NC
Brooks Lewis 1785
Randolph Co, NC
Anderson, SC
Lydia Moore
m. Bef/ 1822
Elinor Lewis 1787
Randolph Co, NC
Delilah Lewis 1789
Randolph Co, NC
Priscilla Lewis 1791
Randolph Co, NC

The Rape of Lydia Allred




By: Linda Allred Cooper

  The Lewises were tall, broad, muscular and very powerful men. The family were the lions of the country. Their character was eminently pugnacious. Nearly all of them drank to intoxication; aware of power, they insulted whom they listed; they sought occasions of quarrel as a Yankee does gold in California. They rode through plantations; killed their neighbor’s cattle; took fish from other men’s traps; said what they pleased; all more for contention than gain. Though the opposed had power, they were afraid to prosecute them, they knew these human hydras had no mercy; they dreaded their retaliating vengeance. Anything, man or beast, that crossed their path periled it’s life. The neither sheltered themselves under the strong arm of the law nor permitted others to do so, they neither gave nor asked mercy. Their pledge was sure as anything human could be. If they threatened death or torture, those threatened always thought it prudent to retire to the very uttermost part of the earth.  
  This pattern continued on into the mid 1780’s. Between March and October 1786, Stephen and his brother, John, had been in court 11 different times (2) answering a variety of charges. One of those charges was brought by Lydia’s father, John Allred, who accused John Lewis of assault in June 1786. (3) John Lewis was found innocent and John Allred became the target of some vicious retaliation.  
    2.  State of North Carolina, Randolph County     June Session 1786
The Jurors for the state and county upon their oath represent and say that John Lewis of said county aforesaid on the nineteenth day of May in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Six and tenth year of American Independence with fouce and arms in the county aforesaid in and upon one Samuel Allen ___and there being in the peace an assault did make and him the said Allen did beat, wound and ill treat to his great damage and against the peace and dignity of said state.

3.  State of North Carolina, Randolph County    June Session 1786
The Jurors for the State and county aforesaid upon their oath present that John Lewis late of said county labourer on the Nineteeth day of May in the tenth year of American Independence AD 1786 with force and arms in the county aforesaid in and upon one John Allred then and there being in the peace of said state an assault did made on him the said John did beat injure and ill treat to his damage and against the peace and dignity of said state.
A. Wood, Att for ST

  The Allred family found themselves confronted by the Lewis family over the next few months. Farm equipment disappeared. Farm animals were slaughtered. When the family members went to visit neighbors, they were followed and taunted. Finally, on a sunny afternoon in October, it all came "to a head.  
  October 30th no doubt began as a normal day on the farm. Chores were performed, meals were cooked and served by the women while the men worked in the fields. The colorful fall leaves were falling and the weather had a slight "nip in the air". When her chores were finished, Lydia decided to walk the well worn wagon path to her sister and brother-in-law’s home, Barbara and William York. Barbara was 17, only one year older than Lydia and a newly wed. The sisters were close and no doubt missing each other’s daily company. A visit would be welcome.  
  The court document filed November 6, 1786 tells the story in chilling detail. Lydia was walking along the path when Stephen Lewis rode up on his horse. He, no doubt, recognized her as one of John Allred’s daughters. Lewis got off of his horse and grabbed Lydia, pulling her to him roughly and forcing her onto his lap as he sat down on a log. Holding her tightly, he asked her to have "carnal knowledge" with him. She refused, telling him she would rather die and tried to fight her way free of his clutches. Angered, he forced his hand under her skirt and "placed his hand on her privates and forced his fingers into her body". She fought valiantly, but he was bigger and stronger than the frightened 16 year old girl. He pushed her to the ground and violently beat and raped her.  
  When finished, Lewis left Lydia lying on the path and rode off. She pulled herself together and somehow managed to get to her sister’s home. The family reacted in horror and demanded justice. On November 6, Lydia’s father, brothers and brother-in-laws came to court to file charges (4) against Stephen Lewis.  

4.  State of North Carolina, Randolph County
This day caused Lydia Aldred before me the Justice being ___ and on explanation oath that on this 30th day of October last week that Stephen Lewis over took her on the road. She was going from her father's house to her brother-in-law, William York, farm on Sandy Creek and said Lewis took hold of her and pulled her to him and let down over a log and asked her if he might have carnal knowledge of her body and in her deporment answered that she would rather suffer death that grant to that and said Lewis said if she would not consent he would forse her and then forst his hand under her close and put his hand on her privets and forst his finger into her body and she this deponant cryed out and he told her to cry no more and after some time he let her go and rode away _____ injourous much to her  ___ against the peace and dignity of said Lydia.
These are to command and ____ to apprehend and take the body of him the said Stephen Lewis and bring him forth with before and of the Justice of the said county to be charged conserning the premises and to be ____ doth with accordance to law fail not and under my hand and seal this 6th day of November AD 1786
Zebedee Wood, JP

  Unfortunately, as in the past, the court continued to be reluctant to indict or convict anyone in the Lewis family of anything - even something as horrible as rape. Court records show that although the Allred family presented overwhelming evidence and Lydia herself was forced to testify in detail about the rape, little was done to Stephen Lewis. Finally, in December, the court agrees to indict Lewis (5 & 6) and hold a trial. However, the intimidated jurors and court officials, fearing reprisals from the Lewis family, vote to post-pone the trial until Spring 1787. They were probably hoping that, with the new court session, they would not be chosen as jurors and would escape the Lewis family wrath.  
    5. State of North Carolina Randolph County
    December Term 1786
The Jurors for the State and County swore upon their oath that Stephen Lewis, late of county Labourner on the tenth day of December the Eleventh year of American Independence AD 1786 with force and arms in the aforesaid County in and upon one Lidia Allred then and there being in the peace of said State did made an assault and her the said Lidia then and there did bead, wound and ill treat with an intent her the said Lidia against her will and there ____ to ravish and carnally know and other wrongs then and there did the great damage of the said Lidia and against the peace and dignity of said state.

6.  Lidia Alred vs Stephen Lewis weather laid over until the next court of Randolph or not as witness under oath this 15th December 1786
                Held Over                    Tried Instantly
                Jacob Skien                  E. Williams
                John Small                    W. Richards
Lidia Alred vs Stephen Lewis.  He submitting himself to the court it is the opinion of the court that the said Lewis pay the sum of five shilling and costs of such.
                                                            E. Williams
                                                            Jacob Skien
Taken by _____
John Arnold CC

  On February 1, 1787, Stephen Lewis was back in court (7) accused of threatening the life of Lydia’s father, John. He had already beat John, breaking his nose, and continued to harass the family every chance he got. John asked the court for protection. It wasn’t awarded until another week passed. In response, Stephen increased their campaign of harassment and terror.  

7.  State of North Carolina, Randolph County
Where as John Allred hath this present day made oath before me the presiding Justice that he is afraid that Stephen Lewis of the county aforesaid will beat, wound, maim or kill him and hath therefore prayed _____ of the peace against him.

These are therefore to command to you to cause the said Stephen Lewis to come before me or some other justice for the said county to find profess causes for this good behavior and for keeping the peace and in Person to witness the above said John Allred.  Here in fail not given under my hand and seal this 1 day of February AD 1787.
To an Lawfull officer to Execute and Deliver
Zebedee Wood JP

  Finally, in March 1787, the court imposes a 100 pound bond on Lewis (8) to guarantee his appearance in court for trial.  But, the trial is postponed once again as the Lewis family’s threats scare the jurors. By June, Lydia’s father had reached his limit and begins fighting back. However, he accomplishes nothing except getting himself arrested (9) for "profane swearing in public". The humiliation must have been unbearable as John is arrested for "swearing" while his daughter’s rapist still roamed free. While in court facing the original "swearing" charge, John loses his temper again and swears at the court officials. Again he is charged and fined.  
    9.  State of North Carolina Randolph County March Session 1787
The Jurors for said county upon their oath present that John Alred is a common and profane swearer on the 14th day of March in the year 1787 did purposely swear in hearing of Jurors of the Grand Jurory for said county on the aforesaid 14th day of March 1787 to the evil example of all other citizens of said state and against the peace and dignity of said state.
    10.  State of North Carolina, Randolph County, December Session 1787
The Jurors for the State upon their oath present that Stephen Lewis late of the county of Randolph yeoman on the first day of December one thousand seven hundred Eighty Seven did with force and arms at the county aforesaid feloneously shall take and carry away one price of money in silver the value of sixpence and of the proper goods and chattles of Robert Hodges to his damages and to the evil example of others in like case offending and against the peace and dignity of said State.
  The rape trial is postponed again and again as the jurors and court officials were harassed by the Lewis family. Court documents also show that the Lewis brothers were in court many times (10) over the next 4 years as they continued to wreak havoc in Randolph County. But, as we’ve all heard, "you reap what you sow" and eventually everyone pays for the evil they do.  
  When Stephen raped Lydia, he was married. Lewis family records show that he beat his wife on a regular basis, treating her no better than he did his neighbors.  


Stephen was a violent man.  His brother Richard Lewis was said to have shot him during a squabble.  He died from the results of the gunshot wound. Sources: North Carolina Court Records and book "Dead and Gone" by Manley Wade Wellman
Stephen Lewis died 1792 at the age of 35 in Randolph Co, NC.

Stephen LEWIS Will of Randolph Co., NC


In the name of God amen.  I  Stephen Lewis of the County of Randolph in the State of North Carolina planter being sick and weak of body but of sound Disposing mind and memory blessed be God and knowing that it is appointed for all men to once to Die do make this my last will and Testament.  

That is to say Principally and first of all I Recommend my Soul to God my maker and next my body to the Earth to be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of my Executors here after named and as touching such worldly estate and effects as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life, I give bequeath and demise of in the following manner and form.  

First it is my will that all my just debts and Funeral Charges be first paid.  

Then I give and demise to my son Stephen Lewis the plantation land and primeses that I bought of Tomas Pugh containing two hundred acres of land to be possessed by him and his assigns forever. .

Item - I give and demise to my son David Lewis the plantation land and premises that was Formerly old Richard  Wrights Containing a tract one hundred and Forty (word forty crossed out) Fifty acres land  in Randolph County to be possessed by him and his heirs and assigns forever.  
Item - I give and demise to my son Brooks Lewis the plantation whereon I now live in Randolph County Containing two hundred acres of Land to be possessed by him and his heirs and assigns forever.  

Item I give and bequeath to Susannah my beloved wife my last mentioned plantation with all my moveable estate goods and Chattles both in (unreadable) and without so long as she remains my widow for the bringing up the children except what is here after mentioned.

ItemI give and bequeath to my two daughters, Elinor and Delilah and each of them a feather bed.

Item I give to my daughter Prissella ten pounds to be paid to her by my son Brooks Lewis or his heirs.  

And it is my will that if any of my sons should die before they should come of age that their parts should be equally divided amongst the surviving of my Children both sons and daughters shear alike.

I also nominate and appoint Susannah Lewis my beloved wife Executor and John Lane Esquire of Randolph County Executor of this my last will and Testament hereby disallowing and dianuling all others wills by me hereto fore made Ratifying this and no other to be my last will & Testament in witness I have hereunto set my hand seal this forth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninty one 1791  

Signed sealed published and delivered by the within testor the said Stephen Lewis as his last will and testament in the presence of us.

Jeremiah Reynolds  
  Stephen Lewis (Seal)
Robert (his X mark) Walker
John Lewis


Documents http://allredfamily.com/LydiaReportDocuments.htm
Transcribed Court Documents http://allredfamily.com/1lydiadocumenttranscription.htm#lydia10
The Rape of Lydia Allred http://allredfamily.com/LydiaReportDocuments.htm
Naomi Wise Story  http://allredfamily.com/naomiwise.htm
If you have additional photos or information on the Lewis Family, please contact me.